BWiWi 3.5: Industrial Organization
In reality, free markets characterized by fierce competition and free market entry are the exception rather than the rule. Firms pursue a variety of competitive strategies to achieve dominance and maintain market power. This course uses case studies and industrial economic models to provide a broader, more realistic picture of firm behav-ior in real markets and to understand the variety of competitive strategies pursued by, for example, Internet companies, electronics firms, pharmaceutical companies, and automobile manufacturers. At the same time, this course examines how anti-trust authorities can identify and prevent anticompetitive behavior by firms. Two main questions explored in this course are: How do firms acquire, use, and maintain market power? How can antitrust authorities deal with anticompetitive activities by firms that restrict competition at the expense of consumers and/or competitors?
This course addresses competitive strategies of firms in imperfectly competitive mar-kets and the resulting market dynamics. Considered are advanced pricing strategies of firms, strategic interaction of firms in oligopoly markets, market entry, endogenous determinants of industry structure, and strategies of firms with respect to decisions such as product differentiation, vertical integration, advertising, and innovation.
By the end of this course, students will understand the basic concepts of Industrial Organization (IO) and will be able to apply concepts, theories, and methods to de-scribe, analyze, and compare structures and processes in real world markets. Stu-dents will be able to evaluate competitive strategies of firms in imperfectly competi-tive markets and assess the capabilities of antitrust authorities in dealing with anti-competitive activities of firms.
The language of instruction (lectures, tutorials) is English. This also applies to the teaching materials, textbooks and scientific articles used. The exam can be taken either in English or in German.
Basic knowledge of microeconomics.
This course is only offered in the winter semester.